If you’re a retailer thinking about introducing private-branded plant-based meat products, the time is now, according to Jim Wisner, president of Lake Forest, Ill.-based Wisner Marketing Group and an expert in private brands. Wisner spoke during the Private Label Manufacturer Association's (PLMA) Private Label Trade Show about possible pitfalls of plant-based meats, from being highly processed to being too costly, but he acknowledged that the category is burgeoning and presents a viable opportunity for retailers of private brands.
Wisner advised retailers to team with manufacturers “to get engaged now” and be quick to market with products. He advised them to offer a range of products and to create a defined department in the meat section and/or frozen foods. Product sampling and consumer education are vital, he added.
“Don’t sit and wait and watch,” Wisner advised. “You need to be there.”
Wisner pointed out that several retailers — The Kroger Co., Aldi, Wegmans Food Markets, Albertsons Cos. and Loblaw — have already gone to market with store-branded plant-based meat products and are thus ahead of the game.
“So we have retailers going to market not after the market is established, which is kind of a change for how the private-brands industry works … in a good way,” he said.